miðvikudagur, október 24, 2007


Spires, ramparts, cobbles. There were leafy bushes going a brilliant red, and my camera without a battery. Is there northern light like that in France as well?

Dozing on the plane, fragments still go through my head: defense, but, tirer, rue, verre, terrine, cidre, rive, sucre, Zuaves, parcours, porquois, porte, Saint Jean.

miðvikudagur, október 17, 2007


Would you like some tea? I would. I have a little iron pot here steaming with gently bitter grassy tea. Would you?

Old English beodan "offer, proclaim"
Proto Germanic *biudanan "to stretch out, reach out, offer, present,"
compare German bieten "to offer"
all from the Proto Indo European base *bh(e)udh- "to offer, present."

How very civilized.

See also Sanskrit. bodhati "is awake, is watchful, observes," from which buddhah "awakened, enlightened." Old Church Slavonic gives us bljudo "to observe," and I wonder whether there is a liturgical sense to the word. See then also Lithuanian budeti "to be awake."

I hope so. I have things to do before sleep, many of them. Tea is helpful in such circumstances.

See Old Irish buide "contentment, thanks".

I don't mind if I do.

Credit due to Douglas Harper as so often.

mánudagur, október 15, 2007


I am admiring islands on the map. I see now Java and Borneo, two Aleuts, Newfoundland, Ireland, one of the Faroes (might it be more?), Hokkaido, Sri Lanka. Could that be Lofoten? The Canaries? I wish I knew what island that was west of Chile.

I see the North and South Islands and I think of old Zealand, pulled from Sweden with four monstrous oxen. As Bragi the Old had it:
Gefjun dró frá Gylfa
glöð djúpröðul óðla,
svá at af rennirauknum
rauk, Danmarkar auka.
Báru öxn ok átta
ennitungl, þars gengu
fyrir vineyjar víðri
valrauf, fjögur höfuð.
But how did the antipodal Zealands get there? What did they yoke up to pull them and from where?

þriðjudagur, október 09, 2007


Night cycling.

The sky is black, the road is black, the lanes branching off to the right (there, there, there) are black. Here there are streetlights. Further back there were none. Tracks on the left, now warehouses and off-the-high street businesses. No storefronts. No housecats zipping across the road. The fluffier rodents would appear to be asleep in their burrows and knotholes. The pavement is black, black, gray. The crazing of winter frosts spreads leftward from the curb, buckling the macadam and making your wheels rattle on their axles. You hold yourself above the hard saddle as best you can, imagining that the pedals are stirrups.

fimmtudagur, október 04, 2007

heyra í sér

  1. I was thinking of you, too.
  2. It really helps - I couldn't begin to tell you.
  3. Not sure what else to say, really.

Later, in the dark, I'll say something to you, and you'll say something to me.

miðvikudagur, október 03, 2007


The animals next door seem lonely. The other-side-of-the-wall cat is always on the stoop, turning herself belly-side out and belly-side in over and over again. The other-side-of-the-wall dog wandered straight on in a few days ago as I was bringing my bike in off the porch. He bears himself so humbly, this dog. When I stood my bicycle against the dining room chairs it slipped and clattered to the floor, and instantly he dropped his head a little lower from his shoulders, looked away with evident chagrin, and turned to pad back out.

I called after him and told him that it wasn't him - ! That loud noise wasn't anything he'd done wrong. Everything was okay. He brightened up immediately and came back over, put his head up under my hand so I could rub his ears. He is a sensitive creature.

I have suspicions about who they are looking for. It isn't me, and that's too bad.

mánudagur, október 01, 2007


This Sunday morning she slept deeply but lightly, a few feet above the mattress, buoyed by the early-morning visions tangled in the coverlet alongside her legs.
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